The Swedish application for the IUFRO Congress 2019

Sweden has a great opportunity to become the strongest candidate

Looking at the candidates for the XXVth IUFRO World Congress in 2019 it seems likely the congress will take place in Europe.

Interdisciplinary issues

Every five years the IUFRO World Congress impressively demonstrates the outstanding role and quality of the IUFRO network. It is one of the largest global forest events attended by more than 2,000 delegates. It brings together scientists and stakeholders from all parts of the world to discuss interdisciplinary scientific and technical issues related to priority areas of forest research, policy and management.

A bio-based society

The main criteria for the evaluation of the proposals are host country and city, financial commitments, congress venue and excursions. The Swedish forestry model illustrates a long history of multi-purpose management of forests and landscapes in harmony with forest science. The forest sector has been one of the cornerstones in the development of the Swedish economy. The ecosystem management and the history of tenure vary widely from the open landscape in the south to the mountainous areas in northern Sweden. Hosting a congress would also be an excellent opportunity to raise Sweden’s international profile and to discuss the pros and cons of the Swedish forestry model. Field trips are included in the congress programme, giving excellent opportunities to highlight sustainable forest management, a market transformation to a bio-based society and policy developments.

A broad support from stakeholders

Stockholm would be an excellent venue for the upcoming Congress 2019, celebrating 90 years since the VIIth Congress was held in Sweden. An application enjoys broad support among Swedish stakeholders such as The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), IKEA, WWF, The Swedish Forest Industries Federation and its member companies, The Swedish Association for Hunting and wildlife Management, Vi Agroforestry, The Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners, The Forest Research Institute, The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, etc. They are all willing in play an active role in the planning and implementation of the congress.

The outcome of the application looks promising

SIFI has been given responsibility for coordinating the preparations behind the application. The Stockholm Convention Bureau has prepared a budget and will compile the application. SLU is willing to take on the hosting of the congress, provided that the government supports the application. SLU was recently evaluated and ranked as first class in forestry research. SIFI will arrange a meeting to create a national IUFRO group to support the application process and in the future it will support the Swedish involvement in IUFRO. In the light of this background the application looks promising.

Text: Fredrik Ingemarson, Program Manager, SIFI

Photo:  Geoff Roberts